Over the last few weeks, I have been getting emails and phone calls from friends who say they are experiencing mental stress over the pandemic. Just shy of being a full year of this event, experts are saying mental stress is normal.
When I was asked by my friends if I was experiencing problems my answer was no. At first, I couldn’t explain why I was handling it differently then it dawned on me. Any parent who has lost a child will understand what I am about to say.
On Christmas Day 2018, my son was diagnosed with lung cancer. For the next 10 months, we watched him go through chemo and radiation. The sadness is beyond description. Steve suffered a stroke in September of 2019 and with a few weeks he was gone.
I thank God every day that we were given those 10 months to have him with us before he was taken Home.
Without a doubt, those 10 months had an effect on his mother and myself which would make the pandemic something on a lower scale.
None of us want to wear a mask for the rest of our lives but it is apparent that wearing one is not going away anytime soon. I hate wearing them and because of that I rarely leave the house unless I have to do so.
The freedom this disease has done to our quality of life is devastating. We are handcuffed to our homes — especially for those of us who are retired. Businesses are closing because of this pandemic. Others are barely hanging on.
I asked some of my friends what they are doing to cope with the present developments. Their answers were interesting to say the least.
A couple said they have taken up walking — getting fresh air and exercise which has provided some relief from staying cooped up in the house and not being able to socialize like before.
Others have said they have taken up watching movies with their families. It is being reported that movie rentals and streaming has reached a new high in the last 11 months.
Some said they are going for rides in their car — many traveling in the many rural areas we have in Conneaut. They are visiting covered bridges, Conneaut Creek and also trips to the lake. For sure, the pandemic has made us more aware of what wonders we have naturally around us. That’s a good thing.
One gal told me she has been reading more books — something she never did much before. Others said they are working out within the confines of their homes.
So, basically, there is some good coming out of this pandemic situation. Hopefully by this coming summer, we will be able to enjoy some of the events that were cancelled last year. Hopefully, that will become a realization. We need a Fourth of July festival, the D-Day re-enactment, parades and other events that have been taken away from us.
A wise elderly lady told me years ago that humans can survive through thick and thin. She always said, “This, too, shall pass.”
I believed her then and even more now.
Stay safe folks ... remember: This, too, shall pass.
PATRICK WILLIAMS writes a weekly column for The Star Beacon. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.